A Music Lover’s Gift Guide For 2019

Thanksgiving is over and that means it’s time to get your holiday shopping in before it’s too late. While it’s never a bad idea to get someone an extra pair of cheap on-the-go headphones, more personal gifts might make the recipients holiday season all the better. Here’s few music related gift ideas that won’t break the bank.

The first obvious choice is music itself. While the easiest and most conventional way for the gift receiver to listen and transport the music would be a CD, that might not be the most personal or enticing present. Instead, consider purchasing a vinyl record of the recipient’s favorite artist. Usually priced between $18-$30, records are an easy go-to choice for an affordable gift. From rememberable classics to the newest artists, and soundtracks to lullaby renditions, there’s a record for all ages. And if unsure whether the receiver actually has a record player, the larger than usual album art and the sometimes picture disc variant, can double as a nice piece of wall art. Another playful alternative is to instead purchase the elected album on cassette and watch as the person receiving it tries to decide how to play it or if he even knows what it is depending on his age.

Writer’s Picks:

Billie Eilish “Bad Guy” cassette.

Bad Guy product image courtesy of Interscope Records

New albums on vinyl/cassette: Billie Eilish, Post Malone, Lana Del Rey

Rockabye Baby’s Lullaby Renditions: Jay-Z, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Depeche Mode

Classics: Led Zeppelin, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson

Soundtracks: Pulp Fiction, Stranger Things, Disney Picture Discs (Lion King, Toy Story, Dumbo)

Another good choice is some type of fun activity. While band edition Monopoly games are very cool, they are also very expensive, most starting at $50. But there’s always other ways to be able to enjoy some recreational music activities with the family, or by one’s self. Trivia games are a wholesome tradition that can be a great family and guest game. With choices from band specifics like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones Trivial Pursuit, as well as genre and decade options, there’s always a perfect fit for anyone’s household. Puzzles are another viable option for people who might not be one’s for loud, fast-paced trivia games and would rather sit and enjoy some quiet.

Writer’s Picks:

The Beatles Trivial Pursuit.

The Beatles Trivial Pursuit.

Trivial Pursuit product image courtesy of Amazon.com

Trivial Pursuit (The Beatles, Classic Rock, 80s & 90s)

Puzzles (Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Woodstock)

Where’s Waldo style book featuring The Beatles

Along the lines of enjoying some quiet, it’s always great to take time to sit and read a good book. This year has been particularly good for written form offerings, giving us multiple popular releases. T.V. personality and drummer for The Roots, Questlove gave us his tastefully unique Mixtape Potluck Cookbook. Filled with Quest’s closest celebrity friends’ favorite recipes, he pairs each with tunes to cook along with. Diving deeper into the lives of musicians, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea released his much anticipated memoir Acid For The Children to high critical acclaim, landing it on multiple best-seller lists. Also a notable book written about Janis Joplin and her life released recently that was also been well received; both perfect for the music book-worm. And a fun gift for someone young or someone expecting, The ABC’s of Metallica. A brutally fun ABC book for children, that teach them the alphabet through the fun of heavy metal. If books aren’t the person’s thing, plenty of great music movies have been released in the last year such as Rocketman and Yesterday.

Writers picks:

Acid For The Children book cover.

Acid For The Children book cover.

Acid For The Children cover courtesy of Grand Central Publishing

Acid For The Children by Flea

The ABC’s of Metallica

Yesterday (DVD/Blu-Ray)

Everyone loves playing with dolls! Authentic collectables such as Kiss action figures might set you back a couple of hundred dollars, but Funko has you covered for your rock idol needs. From Billy Idol to Brittney Spears the small figurines are a small and cute way to display a member of your favorite band or honor a late legend. While some are rare and can be expensive once sold out, most range $10-$20. Perfect for displaying on a work desk, children’s room or on your dedicated shrine.

Writer’s picks:

Joey Ramone Funko figurine.

Joey Ramone Funko figurine.

Funko Pop product image courtesy of Amazon.com

Band Funko Figurines:Slash, Prince, Freddie Mercury, Weird Al

Lastly is a collection of obscure and fun novelty items. Now that the holiday season is in full swing, most artist’s webstores are packed with small holiday items and gifts including wrapping paper, Christmas tree ornaments, and Christmas cards, most $20 or under. Another industry musicians have linked with more in the last few years are beverages. Most artists will have some kind of coffee mug, water bottle or glassware option available with their name/logo/lyrics and go as far as to offer beer and shot glasses. And finally, Grammy-nominated, H-Town rapper Travis Scott has graced the cover of a limited edition Resse’s Puffs cereal that you can find at most Kroger and Walmarts for around $3-$4, a perfect affordable collectable for a young “hypebeast”.

Writer’s picks:

Travis Scott limited Reese's Puff cereal.

Travis Scott limited Reese’s Puff cereal.

Reese’s Puff cereal box courtesy of General Mills

Foo Fighters Beer Bong

Florida Georgia Line Beer Accessories

Travis Scott Resse’s Puff cereal (In Store)

If still unable to decide on an item, it’s always acceptable to give gift cards. Apple Music and Spotify both offer cards that will allow the user to stream virtually any music they want. Most artist’s webstore, as well as local music stores, now offer gift cards as well if you’d rather them be able to choose their favorite artist’s items themselves.

Houston Press contributor Cameron Martinez uses his extensive knowledge of headbanging and bumping into people to give readers an inside look at the city’s music scene. He often tag-teams shows with his camera-savvy wife Jennifer Lake.

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